Today's Labour News

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edconBL Premium reports that in a bid to save Edcon, trade union federation Cosatu wants the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to pressure landlords to provide the retailer with a rental holiday.  

The PIC put up R1.2bn in cash, using Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) funds, to save Edcon at the end of 2018, reportedly at the strong urging of Cosatu.  Edcon CEO Grant Pattison told suppliers on Thursday that the fashion retailer could not pay them due to a 45% reduction in cash flow, after shoppers stayed away in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.  He is unsure if the shops will be able reopen at the end of the lockdown.  Cosatu’s Matthew Parks said as the PIC was a shareholder in many property companies that owned malls, it had influence to negotiate further reduced rental rates for Edcon.  The PIC managers just more than R2-trillion in assets, mostly on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund.  Cosatu also wants banks to provide a payment holiday to consumers who have home, credit card and car loans to help them cope with constrained finances.  A payment holiday would allow shoppers to have cash to spend if and when Edcon reopens.  Etienne Vlok of the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) said the union would fight to save the retailer.  Sactwu represents textile factory workers who work for Edcon suppliers.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Katharine Child and Alistair Anderson at BusinessLive (paywall access only)
  • Read too, Covid-19 could be Edcon death blow, on page 5 of Sunday Times Business Times of 29 March 2020
  • And also, Edcon can only pay salaries right now, tearful CEO tells suppliers, at BizCommunity

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page